A father once told me, "I can't understand my kid. He just won't listen to me at all."
"Let me restate what you just said," I replied. "You don't understand your son because he won't listen to you?"
"That's right," he replied.
"Let me try again," I said. "You don't understand your son because he won't listen to you?"
"That's what I said," he impatiently replied.
"I thought that to understand another person, you needed to listen to him," I suggested.
"Oh!" he said. There was a long pause. "Oh!" he said again, as the light began to dawn. "Oh, yeah! But I do understand him. I know what he is going through. I went through the same thing myself. I guess what I don't understand is why he won't listen to me."
This little story supports Stephen's fifth habit - "Seek first to understand, then to be understood". If we could only break our habits and learn to listen, then we might understand the world a little more clearly and put our knowledge to more effective use.
If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the
or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on
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